Consumer demand for mobile PC’s (defined as laptops, tablets and netbooks) is on the rise. According to research from Gartner, global shipments jumped 43.4% in the first quarter, their highest in eight years.
With average prices down (off 15.7% year over year), increased consumer demand (as opposed to professional) was a key driver.
Asus and Acer, both pushing several inexpensive products, saw the largest growth rate among manufacturers. The companies’ shipments were up 113% and 48% respectively.
In marketshare, Acer was the second largest PC maker behind HP which, at 19.2% of the market, was first. Dell was third.
Gartner is predicting worldwide PC shipments will increase 22% this year and spending will jump 12%. Netbook sales will account for 18.6% of sales this year but slow to 13.9% by 2014.
"The mini-notebook segment will be impacted by increasingly competitive ultralow-voltage (ULV) products, the decreasing prices of all mobile PCs and the maturing preferences of consumers," said Raphael Vasquez, research analyst at Gartner in a statement.
Media tablets like the iPad aren’t expected to make a significant impact on the mini-notebook segment this year but Vasquez thinks “media tablets, such as the iPad and similar devices, will significantly detract from mini-notebook shipments in 2013 and onward, when we expect their prices to be lower and, more importantly, their functionality to be more similar to mini-notebooks."
Gartner expects about 10 million media tablets to ship in 2010.